By Mia Casey
Phildelphia Magazine recently released an article by Sandy Hingston, entitled: How Millennials Killed Mayonnaise, following the popular trend of nostalgically blaming young people for cultural advancement and economic change. If you haven’t yet read the article you really should. It contains such gems as:
“My son Jake, who’s 25, eats mayo. He’s a practical young man who works in computers and adores macaroni salad. He’s a good son. I also have a daughter. She was a women’s and gender studies major in college. Naturally, she loathes mayonnaise. And she’s not alone.”
The ominous tone continues throughout, making what is a relatively minor (one would think) change in tastes, feel like the targeted shunning of an entire generation’s (read: Baby Boomers) cultural identity. It’s amazing.
But how, you may be asking, does the slamming of young people’s choice in condiments relate to careers?
Well, tastes change, people want different things, and mayo (apparently) goes from America’s superstar condiment, to ‘the Devil’s Condiment’ (x) in the space of one generation. In the same way that millennials are ‘killing’ the mayo industry in favour of newer and more ‘exotic’ flavours, there are skills in the workforce that are no longer to many employers’ tastes. Skills that were once a saving grace that are now seen as ordinary and simply expected from candidates.
So what skills are the mayonnaise of the job world?
1. Microsoft Office
Everyone and their dog knows how to use Microsoft Office, and honestly most jobs will just expect that you are at least familiar with Word and Excel.
It’s no longer a skill that’s worth mentioning on your resume and, unless the job ad specifically refers to Microsoft Office skills, it will look like you’re just filling in space.
2. Data entry
As someone who used to include data entry as a skill, it’s time to know better.
Data entry basically means you can enter numbers into a computer. The only exception would be if the job ad calls for the skill in relation to more detailed database knowledge. Really though, if you’ve used a computer then you can do data entry.
If you’ve emailed your job application in, then an employer knows you can use email without you needing to spell it out in your resume. Plus, when students in primary school are being given school email addresses, it seems a little bit redundant to be mentioning it as an employable skill beyond age 15.
4. Outdated computer programs and software
Employers really don’t want to know that you’re MySpace literate, and can handle Windows 95 like a pro. If the ad calls for knowledge of a specific program, then mention that – but you don’t need to go into detail with every single piece of software you’ve used since playing Sims City 2000.
5. Basic level language skills
So you studied French in high school? That’s great! Is it worth mentioning on your resume, if you haven’t spoken a word of it since? No!
Language skills can be a huge draw for employers, but you need to actually be able to speak it beyond remembering colour names and how to ask where the bathroom is.
And finally, here are some of the Twitter responses to the mayonnaise controversy:
Tired: Arguing about identity politics.
Wired: Arguing about identity condiments. https://t.co/TA1lbQnoHC
— Amanda Litman (@amandalitman) August 13, 2018
Oh jeez thanks, guys, now I'm on the condiment beat permanently.
— Sandy Hingston (@SandyHingston) August 15, 2018
I hated mayonnaise before it was cool.
— sianushka (@sianushka) August 14, 2018
I might as well come out with it: Mayo is a great condiment. it's great on a sandwich, it's great on fries, it's great on hot dogs. Yes I said hot dogs. Ratio me. https://t.co/7jnKDTwg2Q
— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) August 14, 2018
me, an intellectual: aioli
— wikipedia brown aka eve ewing aka lil muji pen (@eveewing) August 13, 2018
boomers: why don't the kids respect and love mayonnaise the way we did when we were young pic.twitter.com/MLaypS6mem
— ᴄʜᴀᴘᴘᴇʟʟ ᴇʟʟɪsᴏɴ٩( ᐛ )و (@ChappellTracker) August 15, 2018
Featured image courtesy of hip2save